4 Kinds of People Who Can "Date Up"

Rather than social climbing, it's romantic climbing: Certain types can land people who are higher on the desirability-o-meter than they are.

A Walk in the Park
(Image credit: Patric Shaw)

Last night, I was hanging out with a male friend — porn star name Clark Stone — and he mentioned something about a girl he knows who would be a total 10, except that "she's completely crazy if she's not on her meds and a little crazy even when she is." (Of course, I felt compelled to mention that I thought there was nothing wrong with taking antidepressants.)

He continued, saying, "You know, I think for the most part, 9s date 9s and 7s date 7s."

(At that point, I asked him if he'd read my post from last week, in which I mentioned some expert I'd spoken to who thought that most single people who couldn't figure out why they were still single were probably "6s who wanted to find 8s." When I heard him say that, I worried immediately that that was my big problem — and it occurred to me that maybe always being dissatisfied with the people who are pursuing you is probably a form of commitment-phobia.) Clark Stone then said that he thought there were a few conditions that allowed for exceptions to the 7s-date-7s rule.

Oh, really? I asked him to name them.

Here's what he said about:


1. Guys. Yes — let's just get this obvious one out of the way first. Ladies, I'm not saying it's fair, but it does seem true to me. My guess is that it has to do with the fact that women, as a group, are more likely to want to settle down than men — so they're more likely to settle, period. (Do you agree? Or do you think I'm a sexist?)

2. Anyone with a lot of power (often in the form of money). Sure, it's usually guys who use their power to land much hotter and more awesome partners — often guys with big finance jobs (hedge fund managers, anyone?) or older men who lure younger women with their vast holdings and lavish gifts. Call it the Donald Trump syndrome.

But I've seen women pull this off, too — like the ones with relatively cool jobs and decent salaries who make enough money that they can pay for the apartments that they live in with their smart-and-sexy-but-not-very-successful boyfriends. And I've also seen a few cases in which not-very-attractive women from wealthy families have landed super-hot (but not very rich) husbands.

3. People who are willing to date crazy people. I can think of a very distinct case — a couple I knew in my 20s — in which the dude was kind of dysfunctional but totally hilarious and a dead ringer for a young Ethan Hawke. His live-in girlfriend was super-homely, but she took great care of him. They were together forever — though he eventually screwed it up by cheating on her.

More often, though, I think it's dudes who take on a crazy person in order to land a lady who is a few notches up on the desirability-o-meter.

4. Creative types. I think the creative types have to be relatively young — still in their 20s — to be able to date up. Because I think the crucial thing that adds to the perceived attractiveness of creative types is the sense of possibility — the idea that they could very well become the next John Lennon, the next Charles Dickens, the next Jackson Pollock. But after a certain point (around age 30 or so) if the dude or chick hasn't achieved some kind of success, the artsy-bohemian luster fades pretty good.

What do you guys think? Do you agree with this? Are there any points you'd like to correct or call me out on?

(Reading over this, I fear I sound terribly cynical. But I'm not, I promise you!)